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Product Support is enabled by 12 Integrated Product Support (IPS) Elements designed to deliver system readiness and availability while optimizing system life cycle cost.


Design interface is the integration of the quantitative design characteristics of systems engineering (reliability, maintainability, etc.) with the functional Integrated Product Support Elements (i.e., Integrated Product Support Elements). Design interface reflects the driving relationship of system design parameters to product support resource requirements. These design parameters are expressed in operational terms rather than as inherent values and specifically relate to system requirements. Thus, product support requirements are derived to ensure the system meets its availability goals and design costs and support costs of the system are effectively balanced. The basic items that need to be considered as part of design interface include:

  • Reliability
  • Maintainability
  • Supportability
  • IPS Elements
  • Affordability
  • Configuration Management
  • Safety requirements
  • Environmental and HAZMAT requirements
  • Human Systems Integration
  • Calibration
  • Anti-Tamper
  • Habitability
  • Disposal
  • Legal requirements


Sustaining Engineering spans those technical tasks (engineering and logistics investigations and analyses) to ensure continued operation and maintenance of a system with managed (i.e., known) risk.

This includes:

  • Collection and triage of all service use and maintenance data;
  • Analysis of safety hazards, failure causes and effects, reliability and maintainability trends, and operational usage profiles changes;
  • Root cause analysis of in-service problems (including operational hazards, deficiency reports, parts obsolescence, corrosion effects, and reliability degradation);
  • The development of required design changes to resolve operational issues;
  • Other activities necessary to ensure cost-effective support to achieve peacetime and wartime readiness and performance requirements over a system's life cycle.
Technical surveillance of critical safety items, approved sources for these items, and the oversight of the design configuration baselines (basic design engineering responsibility for the overall configuration including design packages, maintenance procedures, and usage profiles) for the fielded system to ensure continued certification compliance are also part of the sustaining engineering effort. Periodic technical review of the in-service system performance against baseline requirements, analysis of trends, and development of management options and resource requirements for resolution of operational issues should be part of the sustaining effort.

 


 Supply Support consists of the management actions, procedures and techniques necessary to acquire, catalog, receive, store, transfer, issue and dispose of spares, repair parts, and supplies. Supply support includes provisioning for initial support, as well as acquiring, distributing, and replenishing inventories as reflected in the supply chain management strategy. Proper supply support management results in having all the right spares, repair parts, and all classes of supplies available, in the right quantities, at the right place, at the right time, at the right price.

Maintenance Planning and Management establishes maintenance concepts and requirements for the life of the system for both hardware and software.  It includes, but is not limited to:

 

  • Levels of repair
  • Repair times
  • Testability requirements
  • Support equipment needs
  • Training and Training Aids Devices Simulators and Simulations (TADSS)
  • Manpower skills
  • Facilities
  • Inter-service, organic and contractor mix of repair responsibility
  • Deployment Planning/Site activation
  • Development of preventive maintenance programs using reliability-centered maintenance
  • Condition-Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+)Diagnostics/Prognostics and Health Management
  • Sustainment
  • PBL planning
  • Post-production software support
Maintenance planning and management is the process to develop, implement and manage the maintenance concept, requirements and procedures for a system along with who will perform the required maintenance tasks and where they will be accomplished.  It includes the identification of all the resources and funding required to develop and implement the maintenance and modernization plan.

 


Packaging, Handling, Storage and Transportation (PHS&T) is the combination of resources, processes, procedures, design, considerations, and methods to ensure that all system, equipment and support items are preserved, handled, and transported properly, including environmental considerations, equipment preservation for the short and long storage, and transportability.  Some items require special environmentally-controlled, shock isolated containers for transport to and from repair and storage facilities via all modes of transportation (land, rail, air, and sea).  PHS&T focuses on the unique requirements involved with package, handling, sorting and transporting not only the major end items of the weapon system but also spare parts, other classes of supply, infrastructure items, and even personnel.  The requirements and constraints which a military environment imposes on these activities can significantly impact availability, reliability and life-cycle costs of the weapon system.  Care must be taken to ensure PHS&T objectives are applied to the entire system and not just the spare and repair parts. Unfortunately, this constrained application happens quite often. Additionally, PHS&T items may require their own life-cycle support, such as maintenance of reusable containers or special storage facilities similar to those required for explosives.

PHS&T is defined by its functional area:

Packaging: provides for product security, transportability, storability, with the added utility of serving as a medium of communication from the producer to the user.  The nature of an item determines the type and extent of protection needed to prevent its deterioration.  Shipping and handling, as well as the length and type of storage considerations, dictate materials selected for preservation and packing (P&P).

Handling: involves the moving of items from one place to another within a limited range and is normally confined to a single area, such as between warehouses, storage areas, or operational locations, or movement from storage to the mode of transportation.

Storage: infers the short or long term storing of items.  Storage can be accomplished in either temporary or permanent facilities.

Transportation: the movement of equipment and supplies using standard modes of transportation for shipment by land, air and sea.  Modes of transportation include cargo, vehicle, rail, ship and aircraft.

Technical Data represents recorded information of scientific or technical nature, regardless of form or character (such as equipment technical manuals and engineering drawings), engineering data, specifications, standards and Data Item Descriptions.  Data rights, data delivery, as well as use of any source-controlled data as part of this element are included in technical data as are "as maintained" bills of material and systems configuration identified by individual configuration item. Technical data does not include computer software or financial, administrative, cost or pricing, or management data or other information incidental to contract administration.  See 10 U.S.C. 2302(4).

Technical Manuals (TMs) including Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs) and engineering drawings are the most expensive and probably the most important data acquisitions made in support of a system.  TMs and IETMs provide the instructions for operation and maintenance of a system.  IETMs also provide integrated training and diagnostic fault isolation procedures.

For ACAT I and II programs, a Technical Data Rights Strategy is required prior to each milestone review as part of the Acquisition Strategy.  Technical data acquisition, management, and rights are defined in the Technical Data Rights Strategy.  For additional guidance regarding the Technical Data Right Strategy, refer to Defense Acquisition Guidebook sections 2.2.14 and 5.1.6.4.

Support equipment consists of all equipment (mobile or fixed) required to support the operation and maintenance of a system.  It includes but is not limited to associated multi-use end items, ground handling and maintenance equipment, tools metrology and calibration equipment, test equipment and automatic test equipment.  It also includes the acquisition of logistics support for the support equipment itself.  During the acquisition of systems, program managers are expected to decrease the proliferation of support equipment into the inventory by minimizing the development of new support equipment and giving more attention to the use of existing government or commercial equipment.

Training and training support consists of the policy, processes, procedures, techniques, Training Aides Devices Simulators, and Simulations (TADSS), planning and provisioning for the training base including equipment used to train civilian and military personnel to acquire, operate, maintain, and support a system.  This includes New Equipment Training (NET), institutional, sustainment training and Displaced Equipment Training (DET) for the individual, crew, unit, collective, and maintenance through initial, formal, informal, on the job training (OJT), and sustainment of proficiency training.  Significant efforts are focused on NET which in conjunction with the overall training strategy shall be validated during system evaluation and test at the individual, crew, and unit level.

Training is the learning process by which personnel individually or collectively acquire or enhance pre-determined job-relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities by developing their cognitive, physical, sensory, and team dynamic abilities. The "training/instructional system" integrates training concepts and strategies and elements of logistic support to satisfy personnel performance levels required to operate, maintain, and support the systems.  It includes the "tools" used to provide learning experiences such as computer-based interactive courseware, simulators, and actual equipment (including embedded training capabilities on actual equipment), job performance aids, and Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals.  It is critical that to ensure alignment between system design and training program, any and all changes must be evaluated as to the impact on the training program.  The training products themselves may require separate configuration management and supportability.

The Product Support Manager needs to understand the requirements for training related to the civilian and military workforce for weapon systems acquisition and the training required for civilians and military to lead, operate and sustain the weapon system being fielded.

Training performed by the DoD can be viewed as focused according to specific outcomes:

  • Institutional training for the military and civilian workforce;
  • Weapon system acquisition-related training is developed and implemented to specifically support the fielding of new systems or major modifications of systems;
  • Operational and field training primarily as part of individual, unit and organizational training typically conducted at home station, during major training events and while operationally deployed;
  • Self-development training where individuals seek additional knowledge growth that complements what has been learned in the classroom and on the job.

 


 

Manpower and personnel involves the identification and acquisition of personnel (military and civilian) with the skills and grades required to operate, maintain, and support systems over their lifetime.  Early identification is essential.  If the needed manpower is an additive requirement to existing manpower levels of an organization, a formalized process of identification and justification must be made to higher authority.

The terms "Manpower" and "Personnel" are not interchangeable terms.

"Manpower" represents the number of personnel or positions required to perform a specific task. This task can be as simple as performing a routine administrative function, or as complex as operating a large repair depot. Manpower analysts determine the number of people required, authorized, and available to operate, maintain, support, and provide training for the system. Manpower requirements are based on the range of operations during peacetime, low-intensity conflict, and wartime. Requirements should consider continuous, sustained operations and required surge capability.

"Personnel", on the other hand, indicates those human aptitudes (i.e., cognitive, physical, and sensory capabilities), knowledge, skills, abilities and experience levels that are needed to properly perform job tasks. Personnel factors are used to develop the military occupational specialties (or equivalent D0D Component personnel system classifications) and civilian job series of system operators, maintainers, trainers, and support personnel.  Personnel officials contribute to the Defense acquisition process by ensuring that the program manager pursues engineering designs that minimize maintenance of the equipment at levels consistent with what will be available in the user population at the time the system is fielded. More information is found at the Defense Acquisition University's community of practice website found at https://acc.dau.mil/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=141979

 


 

Facilities and infrastructure consists of the permanent and semi-permanent real property assets required to support a system, including studies to define types of facilities or facility improvements, location, space needs, environmental and security requirements, and equipment. It includes facilities for training, equipment storage, maintenance, supply storage, ammunition storage, and so forth.

Plan, manage, and fund weapon system product support across all Integrated Product Support (IPS) Elements.

Product support management is the development and implementation of product support strategies to ensure supportability is considered throughout the system life cycle through the optimization of the key performance outcomes of reliability, availability, maintainability and reduction of total ownership costs.  The scope of product support management planning and execution includes the enterprise level integration of all twelve integrated product support elements throughout the life cycle commensurate with the roles and responsibilities of the Product Support Manager position created under Public Law 111-84, Section 805.

Computer Resources encompasses the facilities, hardware, software, documentation, manpower, and personnel needed to operate and support mission-critical computer hardware/software systems.  As the primary end item, support equipment, and training devices increase in complexity, more and more software is being used.  The expense associated with the design and maintenance of software programs is so high that one cannot afford not to manage this process effectively.  It is standard practice to establish a computer resource working group to accomplish the necessary planning and management of computer resources.

Computer programs and software are often part of the technical data that defines the current and future configuration baseline of the system necessary to develop safe and effective procedures for operation and maintenance of the system.  Software technical data comes in many forms to include, but not limited to, specifications, flow/logic diagrams, Computer Software Configuration Item (CSCI) definitions, test descriptions, operating environments, user/maintainer manuals and computer code.

Computer Resources is the information technology resources and infrastructure required to operate and support mission-critical systems to include manpower, personnel, hardware, software, and documentation such as licenses and services.